Waiting for Baby Bird

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay This Thanksgiving

To the One Hurting This Thanksgiving smaller

Hey there, sweet friend.

Have you ever googled thankful for infertility“? I have. And all of the articles at the top of my search were written by women who had reached the other side. They were the ones no longer in the trenches and throes of infertility. The ones who have had their adoptions finalized. The ones who have given birth to healthy babies. The ones who have had their dreams fulfilled, no longer pouring every last penny into medicine and doctor appointments. And they were the ones no longer gasping for air from the deep heartache of another pregnancy loss or miscarriage.

Given the fact they were living on the other side, I believe it was easier for them to look back and be thankful for all that infertility had taught them. Through the eyes of grace, they could see how it strengthened their marriage, renewed their faith, and brought them blessings in disguise. They could see how their journey through their miscarriage made them stronger and braver. They could see how everything that went wrong helped make all things right. And they could see all of this because they were on the mountain top looking down.

But you – the one still fighting for your dream. The one whose heart is still painfully aching from a miscarriage. The one who just discovered another treatment cycle has failed. And the one who is hanging onto hope by a thread. I am writing this article for you. Because I want you to know that this Thanksgiving, as you carve the turkey, pass the stuffing and put way too much whip cream on your pumpkin pie, it’s okay if you are struggling to be thankful.

Sure, you can name one thing or even several things; your home, your job, your spouse, or even the food in which you are about to partake, but the one joy you thought or hoped you were going to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday, you can’t mention. And maybe it is because you have recently learned that the miracle that once filled your womb isn’t going to fill your arms. Or the plans you made in order to make this year different, have failed. And failed miserably. Or maybe it’s because the dreams you believed were coming true, have instead turned into a nightmare.

And my heart aches for you because I get it. I understand. I even understand the pressure you are under to still be joyful and thankful for all that remains. And I understand the guilt you feel when you can’t and the shame you have when you aren’t, even though you know you should be. You know you live an abundant life, but it’s just so hard to see it right now. Therefore this guilt, and this shame, on top of all of this heartache? It just makes the stress of the holiday much more difficult to bear. And it makes you feel like a horrible person, am I right? But friend, as you venture into Thanksgiving this week, I want to tell you something from my heart to yours: It’s okay.

It’s okay if you are unable to fight back the tears as you gather around the table to give thanks.

It’s okay if you can’t see how your loss could ever be woven into some master plan of good.

It’s okay to be sad, even outraged, that your life isn’t going according to plan.

It’s okay if you need to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry when the emotions become too overwhelming, the thoughts become too painful, and the heartache you have becomes too strong.

It’s okay to be angry and confused at the unfairness infertility brings.

It’s okay if you don’t sweep your emotions underneath the kitchen rug you are standing on while you peel the potatoes, but rather open up and tell your family how your womb aches. Your heart hurts. And the hope you have is fading.

And it’s okay to shake your fist to the heavens and tell God exactly how you feel. Not holding anything back.

It’s okay to question why your plans are not good enough or the timing isn’t right.

It’s okay to be mad that you have spent thousands of dollars and countless hours at the doctor’s office just to be given a chance to have what seems to come so naturally and easily to others.

And it’s okay to hurt, cry, and to feel disappointed even though others think you should have moved on by now.

It’s also okay to tell your Aunt Judy with grace that it’s not really her place to ask when you are going to have children. Or when you are going to give your child a sibling.

It’s okay if while grocery shopping for thanksgiving dinner you see a pregnant woman in the same aisle as you and you need to turn your head. Even move to another part of the store. Or wipe away a tear.

It’s okay if you decline the invitation to hold your cousins baby or walk away from a conversation about motherhood.

It’s okay if you cook a meal for just you and your spouse, forgoing the traditional family affair.

Friend, basically, I want you to know it’s okay not to be okay this Thanksgiving.  

So give yourself the gift of grace because you are not a horrible person. You are a normal human being with normal emotions after experiencing loss and constant disappointment and heartache.   Even the most perfect person has occasional trouble seeing the joy through the pain. So, sweet friend, don’t beat yourself up or kick yourself down. Just do the best you can and try to remember through the holiday season that it won’t always be this hard, or this overwhelming, or this stressful. Because just like the women in the articles wrote, night always turns to dawn. Seasons always change. And the valley you are in today might be the one you are looking down on in the future. But until that time comes, just know that it’s okay not to always be okay, even if it is Thanksgiving.

With LoveI would love to connect with you on a personal level, so if you liked this post, pass it on.Then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!

If you are looking for a faith-based infertility community of other women who just “get it”, then head over to the *PRIVATE* Waiting for Baby Bird Support group for hope + encouragement. There you will find opportunities to ask for prayer, watch *LIVE* encouragement videos from me, author of “Waiting for Baby Bird,” enter into exclusive giveaways, as well as be able to share your heart with others on the same path, and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Find us here!

43 thoughts on “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay This Thanksgiving”

  1. Seriously thank you for this post. Although I don’t feel sad or down, I think it is because I never let myself go there and this made me feel ok if I do. Xo

    1. So glad girl! I am the same way…so far I am good. But I know others might not be or perhaps I might not be when that day comes. And ya know? It’s okay. Xo

  2. Tears are falling down my cheeks. I felt like you were writing this as a personal letter to me. Another failed cycle came to an end this morning and I just feel angry. I don’t want to, but I just can’t help it.

    1. Oh girl! My heart goes out to you! Ugh! I hate this! I am praying for you that this time next year your “thankful list” will look differently with an added person to your family photo. Xo

  3. Elisha, it’s like you knew exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you for your sweet words. We tried IVF this past month, in a huge leap of faith and trust, and it failed miserably…I didn’t make enough eggs, so we converted to IUI, and yesterday we found out that it failed. I am frustrated, sad, angry, and feel like this is the end of the assisted reproduction road for us. It is all up to God when He decides to bring us that sweet child He has promised us. I just feel so shameful at being overcome by it all! Anyway, thank you for helping me feel okay about not being okay. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    1. Ahhh! Thank you girl! Holidays can be especially tough for those struggling. And I just felt like God wanted me to let everyone know that “it’s okay to not always be okay.” Too many times we beat ourselves up when we can’t put on the smile and give the warm hugs…

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. xoxo

      1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feeling with others. I always appreciate your honestly and bravery in your writing 🙂

  4. This is so beautifully written , after finding out just yesterday that our cycle has ended in a chemical pregnancy your words have helped it’s okay to not be okay.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss sugars! I am praying for you right now to have peace wrap around you and fears to be calmed. Hugs! xo

  5. I needed to read this. After trying for 2 years, we finally became pregnant this year with the daughter we had wanted so badly. Only to find out at her 20 week scan that she had complications that were incompatible with life. She was born still 6 weeks later on July 12.

    It’s hard being a Christ follower while feeling ungrateful. There is a lot of guilt & shame in it. Yes I am grateful for who Christ is, and what He is in my life. But l am not grateful for my circumstances & the fact that my baby girl who should have been a month old this week is instead, dead.

    I’m not okay with it. It isn’t well with my soul. And that’s okay. Thank you for posting this.

    1. oh hun! I am so sorry for your loss! I just can’t even begin to imagine the grief and pain you are going through…especially with this being the first holiday without your precious little girl! The enemy has stolen from you, but I am praying and believing right now that God is going to restore to you all that which was taken. He is going to redeem this situation! He knows it is not well with your soul and He understands. He knows your pain and catches your tears. And I believe that while you will always have an ache for what might have been, He is working to restore your joy and bring you peace. Hang in there. And just keep in mind that He knows…and it’s okay to not always be okay. xo

  6. This is so beautiful. I feel guilty turning down invitations, but I know it is what is best. Thank you for being the encouragement so many of us need and for putting on paper what so many of us feel. God has given you such a special job to do in this world. I continue to pray for you and your family.

    1. Awe! Thank you so much for your wonderful and sweet encouragement to me tonight! I really appreciate it more than you know! xo

  7. Oh how I needed this! Every year we sit at the table with extended family, sharing things we’re thankful for and it always includes health and children. This year all I can think is I don’t have reproductive health, and last Thanksgiving was when we received word of our first loss. I DO feel guilty that I’m not counting my other blessings, but some days the grief makes it nearly impossible. Thanks for “getting it”! Blessings!

    1. I am so sorry hun! I am praying that as it is time to go around the table, the Lord will wrap His loving arms around you and supernaturally you will feel hope and joy sweep over you…the kind that is simply unexplained! Hugs! xo

  8. Thank you so very much….this was healing to read.
    This year, I ate Thanksgiving dinner while while carrying my anembryonic pregnancy. We finally got pregnant with embryo donation after 5 years of infertility, surgeries, adoption failures and the horror of foster care. My sister-in-law across the table was 5wks ahead of me with her 3rd.
    It wasn’t okay.

  9. I love this post. Kudos for writing it. My infertility has affected me so profoundly that I actually wrote a book about it. I titled it “Detours: Unexpected Journeys of Hope Conceived from Infertility.” Even though I am older now, just shy of 60 years old to be exact, I can tear up and cry whenever I think about my 10 year journey to resolve my struggle. It was the hardest time of my life. The thing I want to impart the most to anyone who is in the thick of your battle is to be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to grieve and don’t make matters worse than they already are by doing something that hurts you even more. I have spent at least 5 years writing Detours and now I lead a fertility support group and have developed my own line of fertility support greeting cards. I am donating the proceeds of my book/cards to RESOLVE: The Infertility Association. I also advocate in Congress for affordable access to care. If anyone would like to learn more, please visit my website: http://www.theinfertilityadvocate.com My heart goes out to all who are struggling. You are all warriors!

  10. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have never read anything on infertility that rang so true for me. This was written beautifully, vulnerably, and it was exactly what I needed this thanksgiving season.

  11. Thanksgiving has passed but, after reading this I don’t feel so bad about being quiet & disconnected at thanksgiving this year. It was a tough one, thanksgiving fell on the 22nd & three months before on Aug. 22nd I had began to miscarry. My husband and I have been together for 10 years this coming January and have been trying to conceive since 2015. That was the closet we’ve ever got. We been going through fertility doctors, through test after test, seeing a urologist/infertility dr for nearly three years.
    So when thanksgiving came all I could of think of was how far I would of been into my pregnancy, how we were gonna decorate the nursery, how I had gave up caffeine, sugar and sodium when we found out, how I took every precaution and it wasn’t enough.

    1. Oh, hun! I am so sorry for your loss!!! I know it was, and still is at times, devastating!!! Holidays are always so tough.

  12. Thank you so much for this. The holidays have always been rough for me, but this year I am devastated and feel horrible for it. 3 months ago, my husband and I suffered a miscarriage when I was three months along after 3 years of trying for a baby. It still has me torn up and wishing I was going to be as round and stuffed as the turkey will be for Thanksgiving. It’s hard to allow ourselves to grieve when the company around you are gleefully celebrating the holidays but I think it’s necessary.

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